‘I’m Thomas Johnson, I live in the Cotswolds in the UK. I have composed hundreds of scores for all sorts of different kinds of theatre - tiny studios, mid-scale theatres, in parks, in schools, on Broadway, on the beach, from Minnesota to Moscow - ranging from solo harp to full orchestra.
I greatly enjoy the collaborative process of theatre, and have a passion for working closely to text, believing that a musical underscore can be a proactive and exciting tool in shedding light on meaning; and music can of course be transcendent, travel beyond meaning, detonate a theatrical moment in a way that nothing else can.
I’m also passionate about choral music. Human voices, singing in harmony, thrill like nothing else. There’s something incredibly moving about the sound, and the commonality of it’.
You can hear Thomas Johnson's music at:
More about Tom:
Odd things happen to Tom Johnson. Aged 11, he was hired as a minstrel with his violin to entertain at replica mediaeval feasts every weekend, including copious amounts of mead and token wenches to add to the atmosphere! Young Tom acquired the taste early for a ‘good night out’ !
Aged 15, he discovered Punk music…
Then, after getting a degree in English Literature at Oxford, he went to Sheffield with his then girlfriend. One week later, the relationship ended. Soon after, a friend suggested he looked for new opportunities in the classified ads in The Stage newspaper, Although completely unfamiliar to him, Tom responded to a vacancy at Dr Foster’s Theatre Company. The principal there has remained a lifelong friend and colleague ever since.
One Christmas where he now lives, a flash fire starting with a single candle quickly and completely destroyed his family living quarters - but, fortunately, it left his Egghouse Studio and musical instruments completely unscathed. Tom and his wife decided to stay on site and rebuild completely. This is very much in character as Tom has had in effect had only one job all his life, as a travelling musician, composer and choirmaster.
If he has a regret, it is that he did not back up his primary creative talent with a reliable secondary ‘trade’ like carpentry. Having said that, Tom admits he has shown little talent or even interest in any area not related to music!
He is happiest quietly composing in his Egghouse Studio or working with enthusiastic singers in a rehearsal room, ‘creating sounds that no one else thought was possible!’
A good guitar shop is his idea of window-shopping heaven and seeing a West Country sunset from a hillside pub, with a glass of good beer in his hand, is a spiritual experience.
At a more fanciful level, Tom would like to be remembered as the musician who made a massive fortune late in his life and then died happily, missed and mourned by family and friends. And if he doesn’t make that fortune, my guess is that Tom will still die happy. He is an inspirational man who has been inspired - and continues to be inspired - by others. As you can hear here now, uninterrupted, for yourself.
Reg Starkey - Editor, UK
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